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Post  Admin on Tue May 10, 2011 9:31 am

A viable hand grenade has been thrown at police attending the scene of a security alert in Londonderry.
It was thrown in the direction of officers from the PSNI and bomb squad as they dealt with a suspicious object in the Southway area of the Creggan on Monday evening.

The grenade did not explode and was subsequently dealt with.

Police Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said there were children in the area at the time, adding that it was "only by sheer good fortune" that no-one was killed.

"It is only by sheer good fortune that we do not have a fatality on our hands," he said.

"I am appalled at the callous disregard and recklessness of those who threw the grenade at police, especially as a number of children were close to officers at the time of the attack."

The man who threw the grenade is believed to have made off in the direction of Kildrun Gardens, and police have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Meanwhile there is a possibility that more families in Rathlin Drive and Rathowen Park will need to be evacuated as the security alert continues.

A police statement thanked the local community for their "patience so far", adding: "We regret that this second device will cause further disruption. However we will do our best to bring the alerts to as swift and as safe a conclusion as possible."

SDLP Foyle MLA elect Mark H Durkan said: "This dangerous attack could have led to serious injury or loss of life for the police trying to serve our community.

"It could also have a detrimental impact on police response times to any criminal incidents, particularly in the Creggan area of our city.

"This type of activity is futile, senseless and is rejected by the majority of people in Derry. I strongly appeal to anyone with information on those responsible to pass it onto the police immediately."


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